Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sarah D reports from Colts Camp

Sarah from Terre Haute weighs in on her day at Colts camp:


(First off, for those that will possibly get confused as to some of the places mentioned, Rose-Hulman (RHIT) has an interactive map. Colts’ camp is in the back of campus at locations A [Sports and Recreation Center] (“rec center”), B [Cook Stadium]/Phil Brown Field (“stadium”), and the Intramural Practice Fields (“practice fields”)).

First thing I had to do (on top of going to the local organization vendors, which were giving away free water [it wasn’t TOO bad outside; only mid-80s…with about 90% humidity and sunny outside])? Purchase a disposable camera, which can be purchased only at the ColtsProShop closest to the tennis courts (there’s 2 ColtsProShops), a Colts’ horseshoe pin (for my pin collection) and a magnetic silver marker. All this (along with getting lunch) was done around 2:15, when I went to the crowd that was forming for gathering signatures just south of the rec center and north of the stadium. I sat there, conversed with other fans, and left for the practice fields, which is east of the tennis courts across another bridge. Even though most stands were filled, I managed to find a seat in the easternmost stands, next to a lady whose video camera was confiscated by security during the morning session, thus relegated her to use her cell phone camera to take pictures (digital pictures I think are fine; video taping is not). Upon watching practice (with were drills with pads; only ones I was able to see were special teams, wide receivers, 1st team offense vs. 2nd team defense [although not very well from my vantage point]), I took a few pictures and stayed after practice to attempt to get more signatures when they were leaving (as the day after was an off-day, and most players were leaving for home for Sunday…or watching the travesty that was the Allstate 400 [being a *gulp* former F1 fan myself (Jacques Villeneuve being my favorite driver), I empathize with the NASCAR fans; similar incident happened at the 2005 United States Grand Prix at the Speedway (the one that resulted in all Michelin teams boycotting the race; the consensus there was that…the heads of F1 were to blame, but again, I digress)]).

Eventually, I called a cab around 6:45p.m. to pick me up.
In that time, I was able to get 4 autographs on the car flag I brought with me:
Before practice, Coach Dungy came to the group a few minutes before afternoon practice, only indicating he would stay and sign for about 5 minutes, then had to leave for the practice field (which is south of RHIT’s stadium)

After practice, most players and staff left. Only one - Jim Sorgi - stayed after practice, signed signatures, gave 2 lucky kids his sweatbands, and talked…but nothing Colts’ related from when I got there.

After Sorgi, I went back to the stadium, and say Ryan Lilja signing autographs along a very long line (he was the only one that went down the ENTIRE LINE OF FANS!!) and talking to everyone there. (More about him later.)

A few minutes after Lilja, rookie Jacob Tamme (who was sitting down while Lilja was signing, but appeared to be limping over)

As for practice itself:
Most of the rookies were on special teams.
See below regarding Marvin Harrison. However, of the new WR’s, I think Sam Giguere (#14, FA from Sherbrooke) looked pretty good (he was the only one of the day that caught a long pass in the end zone during drills).

As for our “PUPs”:
The day I was there, both Peyton Manning (sorry..don’t know yet where he may be, nor do I want to know) and Dwight Freeney were there.

While watching practice, I had a very good vantage point of Bob Sanders (I was in front of him, on the other sideline). He was in “uniform”, but not in pads nor had a helmet, nor did he have any bandages protecting his stomach. (IMHO: I think they didn’t want him to go after the fresh brains.)

Yes, Marvin’s perfectly fine, thank you very much. He was taking routes, catching long passes (I think he missed only 1 long pass)…and almost jumped over the rope between the practice field and crowd, but stopped inches from jumping. (Said the female who was about to be his target: “Hey, I would’ve caught him.”)

While he was signing signatures, Ryan Lilja mentioned his knee was fine, and that he should be ready by Week 1 of the regular season, if not earlier.

That’s all I can give right now. As soon as I get pictures ready will I send them. Hope this may help.


Ian said...

I'm way too excited for this season. Last year I was still coming off the Super Bowl high and wasn't too crushed when we lost. This year I'm hungry for another championship.

A question: I recently moved out of the country for the year. I know you mentioned in the past you were overseas, how did you watch Colts games? Will I have to buy the crappy online radio broadcasts?

Bob M. said...

Thanks, Sarah!

Ian, there is a whole bunch of international viewers on the boards at manage to watch via TV, some via the Internet--England, Scotland, Germany, Turkey, The Netherlands... they tend to share their favorite tips. That is, if our faithful hosts don't have a slew of tips on their own....

Demond Sanders said...

Excellent stuff. Thank you. Jacques Villeneuve is a (washed-up) punk, though.

Deshawn Zombie said...


In Argentina (where I normally reside), I get the directv Sunday ticket for $20 a year. I know, it hardly seems fair. I get more NFL in Argentina than I do here.

There are two other options:
1. NBC is starting to stream games on line.
2. A sling box could work if you have a friend/family in the states who will set it up at their house.

jc said...

"Now go home and get your sling box"

Julio Queiroz said...

When the season start, this forum has links for p2p broadcasts, such as sopcast. Almost every single game can be watched via p2p.

Deshawn Zombie said...

There's no link there, man.

Anonymous said...

I thank everyone for the kind responses. I may try to attend next Thursday night's (8/7) practice and give yet another report.

*tsk tsk tsk* Demond, Demond, Demond. Let it be known I've been a "JV" fan for YEARS (since he won the 1995 Indy 505, to be precise), and still back him during his bad times (and have gotten several signatures).

Nonetheless, I've been a race fan for years (even meeting Tony Stewart at a autograph session, along with several online friends from races), and have been to all 3 races at the Speedway at least once. The only time I went to the 500 was when Montoya won. The last time I went to the 400 was in 2002 (I was an alumni member of the Indiana State University Marching Sycamores, which normally performs there pre-race; we got back to the buses, I dressed in my JV apparrel and watched the race from the infield, behind the pagoda...and left when I was nearly decked by a #24 fan, who accused me of being a 'tifosi' (F1 slang for a Ferrari; accusing a JV fan of being a tifosi is like...ohh... accusing a Colts' fan of being a Pats' fan!!)). Last time I went to the USGP was, in fact, the ill fabled 2005 race, and was one of the many people who decided to go into the infield and intermingle with other depressed fans (probably about 20-25% of the crowd left after the Michelin teams left the race, but with only a few minor arguments that I saw...the crowd was quite friendly, even with the circumstances).


Demond Sanders said...

It's all good Sarah. We actually rooted for JV when he won the 500. It was more his subsequent "I'm far too good to return to Indy" attitude that pissed off a lot of people. Montoya was kind of the same way if I recall.

My wife and I went to the last F1 race in '06 because the tickets price were like 50% because of the '05 fiasco that you witnessed. Scott Speed and like five other clowns wrecked on the first turn of lap one. Then two laps later my (pregant) wife passed out and we had to leave after a brief stay in the medical clinic. Luckily nothing else happened the entire race because it was F1.

Needless to say the 500 was/is the best of the three races by a lot. It never gets old. It is cool when the F1 fans come to town though.

Anonymous said...

It is simply impossible for an F1-aspiring driver or one on the grid to ever consider Indy. Hell, it's impossible now for NASCAR, let alone those racing in freaking Monaco that morning. Let it die, guys. JV doesn't hate AOW.